Document Type



Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine

Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

Substance abuse is a critical problem facing the state and local governments of Maine and the communities they serve. Rates of substance abuse—particularly abuse of methadone and other synthetic opiates—increased dramatically in Maine during the early 2000s, as measured by increased incidence of deaths, substance abuse treatment admissions, and drug‐ related arrests. Substance abuse is associated with many types of crime, increased accidents, lost time at work, serious health problems, social dysfunction, and death.

Government cannot develop effective drug policies without valid and reliable data. To address this need, in 2001 the Office of Chief Medical Examiner first sought funding from the Maine Justice Assistance Council to analyze Medical Examiner data concerning drug‐related deaths. A report was first released in 2002. Between 2003 and 2007, a federal grant for the Rural Substance Abuse Partnership Program from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice, allowed continued monitoring and analysis. In 2009, additional funding was provided by the Office of United States Attorneys for Maine to update the data through 2008 in a comprehensive report. This report is the result. It also includes some estimated totals for 2009.

The project represents an ongoing collaborative effort between the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine (MCSPC).

Publisher Statement

© 2010 Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine


publisher's version of the published document